America’s natural gas boom might be generating a lot more greenhouse gas emissions than the EPA has estimated, according to a new study spearheaded by the Environmental Defense Fund.
Eleven teams of researchers looked at fracking operations in one oil- and natural gas-rich area in North Texas, the Barnett Shale, and discovered that at least 50 percent more methane was escaping from drilling operations there than the EPA has suspected. That means the EPA’s estimates for other operations are probably off as well.
A lot of the concern about fracking’s contribution to climate change focuses on methane, a greenhouse gas that is the main component of natural gas and that can leak during the drilling and transport processes. Though escaped methane stays in the atmosphere for a shorter amount of time than CO2, its contribution to climate change over a 20-year period is 86 times greater.
Like other studies before…
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